Doing quite a lot of Googling at the moment gathering info for the last few beers I need to write up for a big book next year being edited by ATJ. And on many of the sites I've been consulting - sites with tasting notes for Russian Imperial Stouts, guides to breweries in Sweden, notes on the history of beer styles - the following banner ad appears with remarkable frequency.
(Edit: uh-oh - the ad changed. Um... the ad when I posted it was STOP DRINKING.)
Online ad targeting is as simple as it is clever. Define your target audience in terms of their browsing interests, and target the sites they're likely to visit. So we want to reach people who are worried about their drinking? Let's target alcohol-related websites. The thing about the twisted puritanical shits who put this stuff together is they believe there's only one kind of drinker - the kind that needs help. It's inconceivable to them that people visiting craft beer sites might actually only be drinking moderate amounts, that they may not have a problem with their drinking, that it may be part of a healthy lifestyle. They simply don't understand that there is a spectrum of drinkers, and that the people who visit websites like this are actually less likely to have a problem than people who drink large quantities of the same brew or wine every day without thinking about it. Taking in an interest in what you're drinking is a sign that it's not just about the alcohol intake. Or maybe they just don't give a damn. Either way, the result is that you can't indulge an interest in beer online now without someone hectoring you about your drinking.
After this week's furore about Brew Dog, I'm really starting to lose my patience about this (response from anti-alcohol lobby: "Ah, why so defensive? Maybe you DO have a problem.")
The email for the organisation doing this is email@example.com. Every time you see the ad, I suggest an email to them asking them to butt out.